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Subject:  Inheritance and SSI Date:  3/29/2012  3:52 PM
Author:  FoolinSC Number:  5614 of 5797

My father passed away 3 weeks ago and left me sole benificiary of his estate. I have two brothers; one he disinherited completely and the other has a mental illness and has lived disablity that was converted to social security upon eligibility. He is currently 66 years old and is at full retirement age. My father's instructions in the trust document to me was to "gift" my brother with the monies I receive from the estate in a way that does not replace SSI or public assistance of any kind. At first I just figured it was because my father felt (and I agreed) that my oldest brother was not competent to handle large sums of money. He lives at the YMCA in New Britain CT and gets around $600 plus dollars in SSI, the vast majority of which goes to rent at the "Y"-- around $500. I wish he would move to a subsidized apartment there so that his SSI wasn't being eaten up by rent at the "Y"-- My dad would send him a few hundred in a money order each month and wanted me to continue this practice. My question to anyone who might know is, can I gift my brother any amount of cash at this point since he's at full retirement age? If he worked he could literally make any figure he wants but I'm unclear about the amount of "gift" or if my father understood that he could have in fact left my brother a lump sum inheritance as well if it would not affect his SSI. Earnings do not affect SSI at full retirement. Would an inheritance affect SSI even at full retirement or not? I just want to make sure that if I gift my brother with cash that he won't get in trouble.
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